2024 Minnesota Walleye Stamp Winner: There's an Artist in the Building
Northland Fishing Tackle’s Sam Larsen wins competition for 2024 Minnesota Walleye Stamp.
BEMIDJI, Minn. (September 12, 2023) – Fishing really spoke to Sam Larsen. In his formative years, Sam Larsen, Visual Marketing Coordinator and Product Development Manager for Northland, fished regularly with his dad in their hometown of St. Cloud, MN. They also took an annual vacation to the Park Rapids area, where a particular penchant for bass fishing was seeded.
Larsen was drawn to the visual aspects of bass fishing. “The underwater world is special,” said Larsen, referencing how he can observe the emergent aspects and visualize what lurks below. It’s that art of the sport which triggers his creativity.
Larsen attended college at Bemidji State, ultimately earning a bachelor’s degree in art and design – subjects precisely inline with his passion. Adding fishing into the mix, Larsen took an internship with Northland in 2015, which matured into fulltime employment once he graduated.
Larsen’s journey in competitive art started in high school, winning awards with wildlife-themed paintings. His first crack at a state stamp was in 2018. “The federal and state duck stamps always intrigued me. So, I finally entered the Minnesota state turkey stamp competition and took third.” The stage was set, Larsen’s name now in the mix.
Larsen followed with a 2019 entry for the Minnesota state walleye stamp. He didn’t place, but stuck with it. He earned second in 2022 competing for the turkey stamp. And finally, the persistent Larsen secured the win with his rendering of the 2024 walleye stamp, which he painted in his preferred medium of acrylics.
Larsen is presently finishing up his 2024 turkey stamp entry, along with plans to compete in other 2024 Minnesota stamp competitions. Asked about the possibilities of a federal or state duck stamp, he said it’s a “definite maybe.”
Wildlife art collectors and fans-of-fishing can purchase a signed and numbered print from Larsen. But hurry because there are only 200 copies of the limited edition available.
And if not for the art, certainly consider acquiring a print for the Larsen cause. “My wife Mandy and I plan to use the proceeds to upgrade our outboard motor.” Now that’s pretty cool…
PS. Art experts believe that’s a Northland Fire-Ball Jig about to get eaten in the painting.